To prevent her odious cousin from forcing her into a marriage she does not want, shipping heiress Georgiana comes up with an ingenious plan, if she does say so herself… Her plan? Marry a condemned man. When he hangs for whatever crimes he’s committed, she’ll become a widow, so she can keep her fortune from falling into the wrong hands, namely said odious cousin. She’ll give the condemned man’s family money for his troubles. Unfortunately, there aren’t any condemned prisoners so she settles for the next best thing. Namely Ben Wylde who will be transported to Australia for his crimes. She might not be a widow, but marriage to a man who she’ll never see again will have to do. Too bad he’s so handsome. Benedict Wylde is on the hunt. Several smugglers have hinted that there’s a plot afoot to rescue Bonaparte. As part of the Bow Street Runners and a member of his majesty’s military, Benedict is duty-bound to ferret out the truth. Hence him being undercover in Newgate Prison. He expected to emerge from there with information related to the plot… he didn’t expect an heiress wife. Oops. Now the two must work together… not only to foil the plot to liberate Napoleon but also to salvage what there is and what there could be of their arranged marriage.
I’d previously read the middle book and last book of this series and enjoyed them, so I grabbed a copy from the library and started reading. I truly loved Georgie. She’s quite possibly one of my favorite heroines in recent romance. She’s intelligent, fearless, and generally awesome. I really liked her. She’s great. Faboo. I also liked Ben – mostly. He’s not the typical hero top-full of toxic masculinity and repressed emotion. He’s confident and comfortable in his abilities and isn’t threatened by a woman who knows her stuff and is more successful than him. I frankly loved that about him.
I enjoyed the plot to find the conspirators of the Napoleon rescuers. It was fun. And I even liked Jem and Pieter (two of the side characters). I loved that plot. Like if it had been solely this plot and not ended how it did this book would have a whole different rating.
So why isn’t this a five star or even a four star? Opinion on the ending and something that’s kinda non-con…
And here I need to give a spoiler alert.
I didn’t love the ending. Okay, that’s a lie. I hated the ending. It had several of my least favorite tropes in play. Which tropes? Kidnapping the heroine so the hero can come to terms with his EMOTIONS! Surprise Marriage where everyone is already there for the wedding but no one has bothered to tell one of the participants (this smacks of Non-con to me so much because how can you say no when everyone is watching?), and well, something that I felt was OOC. I didn’t like one of Georgie’s choices. It felt it diminished her overall storyline by a lot. Like I’m talking super OOC. Her whole character arc is that she’s going to run her business and her fortune and Ben was okay with it. But then she goes – NOPE! I’m going to give you control over my business too!!! And I was like What?!
I’m also not a fan of multiple romances in a single book. I’d have liked to get Juliet’s and Simeon’s romance saved for a Novella; as it was, it was a bit cringey.
In all, this is a good book. Like I really loved parts of this and really hated others. The writing is good. The characters are fun. I hate the ending. Others who don’t mind the tropes I listed might like the book more.
But if I were to rank which books were the best, it goes in reverse order. The third book is the best, followed by the second, and this one is third.
In all it’s a solid series and can be read out of order.
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